Archive for July, 2013

Quora answer: How do you imagine a post-capitalist world?

Jul 06 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

I think we are already in a Post-Capitalist world, which I call Corporatist, and I define Corporatist as a combination of Capitalism, Communism and Fascism which has become Monstrous and is literally destroying the world though the program of Globalization. Post-Capitalism is the era of Globalization where the only limits on capitalism is the exploitation of the whole planet on which we live. And that is being done by mega-corporations on a world wide scale. But for us humans how are occupying the territories being globalized it appears as some strange Scylla like monster with three heads which are Capitalism, Communism and Fascism combined in a single Beast. Capitalism won the Ideological wars of the Twentieth Century, but by fighting hot wars with Fascism, and cold wars with Communism we paid a hard price by developing a variant of capitalism that is particularly viral that has features of Communism and Fascism built in. And literally we are trapped between this monsters on the one hand and Charybdis of spiraling out of control doom aimed at Planet Death on the other that is being caused by this monster.

And this is what I don’t like about Zizek. His sophistry really supports this situation rather than pointing toward some possible solution. Zizek says we are in an ideological landscape of warpages of our perceptions and also of cognitive illusions which is true. He says we need a communism that is reduced to just protecting the commons, which sounds reasonable enough, but comes with no concrete proposals. But worse yet does not identify the real source of the problem which I claim is Corporatism. By not focusing in on this result of 100 years of war all over the globe between ideologies but just saying that we are in the midst of ideology when we claim our age is post-ideological is just not enough. Corporatism is like a super-germ that is built by wrong application over and over of anti-biotics. It is out of control as we saw in the Financial crisis and it is being supported by the state with direct welfare, it is parasitic on the national structures and is the new world order we were promised by Bush and others who have sold their souls to the transnational corporations, like the Republicans and corporate henchmen the Lobbyists who actively promote Corporatism. In this respect the Democrats are no better, but they are really just two faces of the same thing, i.e. nihilistic opposites while real power resides in the incumbents of either party.

Post Capitalism, Post Communism and Post Fascism of the Twentieth Century is the Corporatism of the Twenty First century when globalization has really taken hold and is actually starting to happen in a big way. Corporatism gives the illusion of the idea that it is post-ideological because capitalism claims to have won the Ideological wars of the last century. Communism and Fascism by falling into Genocide showed that they are Totalitarian and ultimately Evil. Capitalism and Democracy showed that although imperfect are a much better alternative. But Capitalism and Liberal Democracy did not come out of the Ideological wars unscathed but changed in their essence, and it is this change, this essential mutation into the new corporatism that is the new monstrosity devouring the earth, like we see in many movies such as Battleship for instance. There is something deep down there that has come to life and is destroying everything in its path. Or there is something Alien out there that is set on destroying us. As long as we do not name the source of the problem there is no way to formulate a strategy against it, and Badiou and Zizek are blind to it because they still think Communism is viable as an alternative.

It appeared that Anonymous was a true response to the challenge of Corporatism, and not the Occupy movement. The occupy movement did not declare war on Corporations. But Anonymous did. And they thought of a very interesting strategy appealing to those who are employees of the corporation to reveal their secrets and crimes. The problem with Anonymous is that they thought they could actually be Anonymous on the Internet, which is not really possible. And many groups took up the banner and the movement shattered both inside and by others acting under their banner just wreaking havoc for no reason (LOL). But in the face off between Anonymous and Corporations which I think is real at some level we see the beginnings of what the struggle is going to be like in this century as globalization is more and more successful, and “Chinese Communist” Fascist Capitalism becomes stronger and stronger. The United States and the EuroZone will have to respond by becoming even more Corporatist to compete.

As US dominance of the world stage becomes more and more shaky as the economy eventually becomes even shakier than it is now due to Walmart Dollars and Petrol Dollars undermining our sovereignty there will be fundamental changes in the marriage between Liberal Democracy and Capitalism of the last century to promote Corporatist agenda of Globalization even more. And so the people will be more and more trapped between Corporatist exploitation and the dying planet syndrome produced by that exploitation. Eventually this will be realized to be a struggle to the death for humanity, probably too late.

Zizekian Common-unists singing cum-by-ya and celebrating perverse individual differences together, ala Burning Man, is just not going to be a good response to a runaway phenomenon of global economic reorganization between competing corporations all bent on out exploiting each other at the expense of 20 billion human beings and the deteriorating planet. The battle ground is Africa where everyone is buying up arable land like crazy. I think Blade Runner was very prophetic in its vision of the twenty-first century. But I don’t think either Badiou or Zizek is really facing the actual situation yet due to their nostalgia for communism, and their willingness to return to Totalitarianism.

Something new is needed, and the only thing that seems to be new so far is Anonymous which has to be taken seriously philosophically even though its fundamental premise is flawed, which is it is possible to be anonymous on the internet, and that defacing web-sites is real action. But the exposure of the internal Emails of H B Gary that showed conspiracy was a serious action. The fact that the group responded decisively to a provocation is also a real response. And things like that have to be taken seriously by the Corporations, who are getting hacked everyday for peoples credit card records, but getting hacked to show that they are committing crimes is a different issue completely because that is an attack on their existence at a fundamental level where people can go to prison. I think what is going to happen as Corporatist economic oppression gets worse, where corporations get welfare rather than people, where corporations are considered people with a legitimate political voice via super-PACs, etc. there will be a more concerted effort to attack the corporations not just occupy wallstreet but to destroy it, if it does not destroy itself first.

Corporatism is a highly unstable formation. But it is definitely worse than Totalitarianism in the sense that it is truly Global aggregations of power without moral compass. Totalitarianism was statist, in the sense that it happened within the Axis bloc or the Soviet bloc but not everywhere and there was an alternative which supported freedom against totalitarian slavery. But Corporatism is not linked to states except to the extent that states give it welfare and support it so that economic activity will occur in their territory. Corporatism is truly global, and as such the entire population of earth is its victim either directly by enslavement, or indirectly though the destruction of the environment. And capitalism, communism, and fascism are not alternatives to it, because it actually has internalized all of these within itself and it has produced though its victory over Communism and Fascism what it deems a post-ideological arena of rhetoric.

As Zizek says it is in the process of incorporating Green themes into its PR campaign but that does not change the reality of what is happening to the earth on a daily basis as it is even more ruthlessly exploited. What Heidegger said about Technology becomes realized in Corporatism that uses information technology to coordinate its efforts globally. It is Corporatism that enforces the nihilistic enframing where everything is seen as resources to be pushed into standing reserves so it can be more easily exploited including humans as human resources, as shareholders, as costumers, as employees. If we go back to Lord of the Rings for an analogy it is Corporatism which holds the One Ring to rule them all. To understand this one ring we need to understand better the structure of the Western Worldview that forged this ring which encircles the globe in rings of fiber that allows corporations to be global. Post-Capitalism is pre-“one world government” where the corporations are the citizens of the world, not human beings.

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Quora answer: What is object-oriented ontology?

Jul 06 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

I read the Tool-Being book and was not impressed. I don’t think he understood Heidegger’s distinction and I think the position that he comes up with based on his misinterpretation really makes no sense.

You really have to consider Heidegger’s work in the context of Husserl’s project. And in one sense all Heidegger is doing is contrasting what Husserl already discovered which was the difference between Abstractions and Essences. Heidegger raises this distinction to the ontological level saying that these two complementary modes of Being itself, not a phenomenological detail but having deeper ontological distinctions.

People forget that Heidegger wanted to be a Physicist first, then chose Theology when that was closed to him, and finally settled as a third choice for philosophy which the mentorship of Husserl opened to him with the possibility of becoming a professor. So this distinction between Present-at-Hand and Ready-to-hand is primarily a reflection of the distinctions between normal experience and the deeper planes of explanation offered in the Physics of his time where Relativity Theory and Quantum Mechanics were the new theories of nature that were both exploding on the scene. And they are still with us, and they are both still splitting experience into the normal Newtonian level of experience, and the new levels either global curved spacetime or the Quantum Mechanical level both of which present things very differently than we our intuitively understand them. Heidegger responding to the sentiments of Husserl in Krisis before the fact, because he was engaged in  the same problematic, basically takes this  split into phenomenology of everyone by inscribing it into ontology as the difference between the Present-At-Hand and Ready-to-hand. I go into this more in my dissertation called Emergent Design ( He inscribes the inexplicable region of phenomena to the ready to hand because we can only reach that via technology, and thus we have a way of looking at things that is essential which is a circumspective concern that appears in Technology and is concerned with Poesis. On the other hand the present-at-hand modality is the familiar Newtonian way of looking at phenomena that holds in the middle ground which we normally experience, and that we can experience directly by seeing cannon balls fly or planets swing around the sun. In other words Heidegger re-inscribes the divisions of experience seen in Relativity Theory (Macro) and Quantum Mechanics (Micro) back into the experience of Dasein which has its basis in what Aristotle calls Phronesis (Judgment), and which differentiates Episeme the kind of knowledge of Science, from that of Technology which governs Poesis. So these distinctions are already there in Aristotle and Heidegger merely restates them again at an ontological level in order to solve the problem of the gap between the lifeworld, or being-in-the-world, and Scientific understanding that seemed to have pulled completely away from the comprehensible in two different and paradoxically opposed ways. This split between Relativity Theory and Quantum Mechanics is still with us and thus Heidegger’s solution is still relevant. We can only get at these realms outside normal experience though technology, and thus whatever they say that is different from what we normally think about the world are based on a hidden way we have of relating to technology he calls circumspective concern.

Harman seems to miss the fact that all this analysis by Heidegger in Being and Time takes place in a Phenomenological framework established by Husserl, and is thus Kantian, and he seems to think that these phenomenological distinctions have a relevance to the things themselves, which is pretty well impossible. So I think Tool Being is just a radical misunderstanding of Heidegger, which ultimately has no meaning because it missed the point, and misuses the distinctions that Heidegger makes which are well thought out and founded on distinctions already made and accepted in the tradition, but just redeployed at an Ontological level, which is the real novelty here. Kant really did not distinguish Abstraction from Essence perception. Hegel had a notion of Essence being different from the Idea and talked about it at length in his Logic. Husserl takes it up again with a more detailed phenomenological analysis, and then Heidegger redeploys it again at the Ontological level making it part of a difference in Being itself.

What is interesting is that this unleashes Pandora’s box as other ontological distinctions are found that have higher meta-levels such as Being crossed out, Differance and Hyper Being which turns out to be what Plato called the Third Kind of Being in the Timaeus, and then Merleau-Ponty discovers is that there is a fourth kind of Being called Wild Being as well. To this we can add a fifth kind of Being called Ultra Being mentioned by Badiou and myself. It took me a long time to figure out if this fifth meta-level of Being existed or now, but now I think it does.

Harmon’s Tool Being is an example of someone who is not really familiar with the whole development of Continental Philosophy coming in and seizing on a particular distinction, and trying to make something out of it that it is not, in order to say something novel but ending up really only making distinctions that are nonsense from the point of view of the tradition. Objects do not withdraw from each other, they have no phenomenology. It is just a crazy idea and it is hard to see how someone can get something like this so wrong. And this is the nihilism that we get when Continental Philosophy is appropriated without really understanding it. This happens a lot in American academia. There are just so many books which try to follow the lead of Continental Philosophy but just do not “get it”. To get it you have to understand the development of the tradition, and how each thinker is building on the prior ones, and how they are all exploring together and looking at the same horizon of phenomenology as seen in terms of Marxism, psychoanalysis, political events of their time, and literature. It is aa broad complicated tradition but it does have a trajectory, and they are using each other’s works to bootstrap their own understanding to deeper levels of comprehension. They have what Lakatos calls a research program and they are all part of it each making their contributions, and the main line in that is from Kant to Husserl, to Heidegger, to Sartre/Merleau-Ponty, to Derrida/Lacan, to Deleuze/Foucault, to now Badiou/Zizek. Throw in for good measure Bataille, Levi-Strauss, M. Henry, and a few other lesser lights, and you have the basic flow of the tradition.

Fundamentally they are exploring the meta-levels of Being one by one. Heidegger kicks it off with Being and Time. They are all trying to go back to Hegel and to get a deeper view of Marxism in light of Nietzsche and psychoanalysis as well as developments in literary theory. Then Heidegger discovers a third kind of Being and gets worried, but Derrida jumps on it and Merleau-Ponty in Phenomenology of Perception discovers it independently as he is rewriting Being and Time from a psychological perspective. Merleau-Ponty then discovered Wild Being. Deleuze takes that up and tries to build a philosophy at that fourth meta-level level of Being just like Derrida did for Differance as the third meta-level. Badiou tries to go beyond Deleuze and talk about Ultra Being which is the fifth meta-level but is less successful at building a philosophy at that level, it is more of a retrenchment, but at least it indicates that the ultra-one exists. Zizek attempts to contrast Lacan with Derrida and to disparage the achievements of Deleuze, the other deeper interpreter of Lacan. In a sense Zizek’s work is a better image of the Ultra One than Badiou’s attempt to isolate it in the appearance of the One from the Multiple as an Event. The interpretation of Lacan gives access to the field of ideology, and shows how language is really the unconscious and that we cannot escape it. The Ultra One is a singularity, and Zizek shows us what it looks like trapped inside that singularity which is language that makes everything in our world ideological. If you don’t understand that these philosopher are climbing the stairway to nowhere offered by the meta-levels of Being: Pure, Process, Hyper, Wild, Ultra then you are not going to understand what they are doing together. And when we see that these distinctions appear in the Rig Veda as the differences between the Gods, the Castes and the Roots of Being in Old English for instance then we cannot really see its significance. The significance is that they are uncovering the fundamental distinctions within the Western Worldview that have always been there but were lost for a long time from our theoretical understanding of ourselves. They are crucial for understanding the Emergent Event. Every genuine Emergent event goes through these phases in its emergence and thus shows us a face of the world when it appears.

See more in my Fragmentation of Being and the Path beyond the Void at

To my mind this is the crucial nexus of exploration that Continental Philosophy has gone though which is of interest. Tool Being is a misappropriation of some Heideggerian ideas for other mostly irrelevant purposes. It is described as a school but I don’t see it going anywhere interesting, and it is not an extension of the research program of Continental Philosophy as far as I can see. But as in all things, maybe I am wrong and this is really important stuff, but somehow I don’t see it.

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Quora answer: Why are high dimensional spheres spikey?

Jul 06 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

I use this fact about hyperspheres getting smaller in my dissertation on Emergent Design at

I have created something called Schemas Theory which is the next level of abstraction up from Systems Theory but contains all the schemas like Facet, Monad, Pattern, Form, System, OpenScape (meta-system), Domain, World, Kosmos, Pluriverse. Then to kick things off I created a hypothesis that Schemas were related to dimensions by a rule that there were two schemas per dimension and two dimensions per schema. And so there are ten schemas ranging from -1 dimension to 9 dimensions. It just so happens that String theory starts at the tenth dimension, but is unschematized, in other words we have no natural organizing template of understanding to relate to it. Schemas are projected organizations by which we understand the things in a given dimension. They are the way that we project Spacetime and find things in it intelligible given Kant’s idea of a priori synthesis.

Then the question comes why are there only ten schemas and why do they stop at the ninth dimension, and I use the fact that bounded spheres as in the example given overflow the surrounding spheres at that point which is something that goes beyond our intuitions of how space itself works. I think it works as an explanation as to why we don’t have natural models of intuition beyond the pluriverse (i.e. the multiverse). The point in my dissertation is that we use schemas as the basis of all our design activities.

So I think this fact of the overflowing of the hyperspheres of their surrounding spheres is quite important for our understanding of how we project spacetime templates of understanding as a framework for understanding dimensional phenomena.

The other point that I make in my dissertation that is related is that hyperspheres get bigger in terms of surface and volume and then they get much smaller and the dimensions where they are the biggest are at 5 through 7 dimensions. I make the point that when we say that we can hold 7+/-2 things in short term memory those are independent things, and that means that conceptually we can do design up to the ninth dimension but that the optima is in the fifth through seventh dimensions where the space of possibilities is largest. So we actually hold in our minds higher dimensional objects and we design in spaces of higher dimensions but not too high, but the optimal height is 7+/2 dimensions which is where we have the most room to maneuver the possible schemas. However in terms of manipulation it is the fourth dimension that is best because in that dimension movement has perfect laminar flow without singularities. And it is interesting that this is the dimension where the middle sphere is the same size as the surrounding spheres.

Anyway, I just thought I would mention this because it is a theoretical use of this fact about higher dimensions that we do not see referenced very often which I think has lots of implications for how we think and how we design especially in Software Engineering.

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Quora answer: Why did Slavoj Žižek pick the title “The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema”?

Jul 06 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

I heard an interview where he was asked if he did it just to sell more copies of it and he said that Perversion has to do with the gaze of the movie goer and the fact that the movie is really looking back at you as is done sometimes in pornography by the pornstar as if to say they are engaging with the audience, and it is the view of the audience that induces the pleasure. He said that there is no pleasure in pornography, but instead the viewer is constituted as a subject by being witness to someone else’s apparent pleasure. But that someone else could be anybody.

This reminds me of the scene in the Odyssey where Odysseus tells the Cyclops his name is “Nobody” so that the Cyclops says ultimately ‘”Nobody” is hurting me and thus does not get any help, but when Odysseus is leaving he cannot resist giving the Cyclops his name, and it is that name that he is then cursed with, and it is through that curse that Poseidon then comes into action against him thwarting his journey home. Exactly here we have precisely Odysseus as the witness who is no-body, but then he cannot resist giving his name and that is the beginning of his real troubles. Similarly even though I agree with Zizek that we are constituted as subjects by Film more than any other art, and that there are some strange things that happen when we are caught up in that illusion as if we are the prisoners in Plato’s cave, but then we also cannot resist giving our own name after the illusion is broken, like Odysseus did. In other words even though the viewer can be anyone and thus the viewer is constituted as such by the experience of the illusion, then after that illusion is broken we make it our own and break the spell by giving our own real names to that experience. We assert our subjectivity again, and no matter how many times Zizek tells us it is an illusion we do that anyway. We have bought the propaganda of our tradition that we are individuals with subjectivity. So even if that is still part of the movie, as in the Matrix for instance, it is not going to go away as part of our experience and so ultimately we have to deal with that.

I have not seen the movie so I cannot comment on it yet.

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Quora answer: Why is it that which ‘is’, is? Why are we? Where would we be if we were not? And last of all, is there an answer?

Jul 06 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

Why is it that which ‘is’, is?
Let’s go back to a point on which I harp, which is that “is” as a grammatical construct is unique to Indo-European languages. So “is” is something different than we imagine. It is not some universal property like Existence. So this makes the answer to your question a bit more complicated than one might expect. There is really no good short answer to your question. There was for some unknown reason a grammatical mutation in Proto-Indo-European and that basically changed the world, because the Indo-Europeans discovered horse power and took  over everything they could long ago, and then recently they colonized the rest of the world and just through shear daring and violence and rapaciousness they took over everything worth having in the world. My theory is that this is not unrelated to Being as a central term in the Indo-European language. But substantiating that would take a long argument and those are not popular on Quora. But to summarize, “that which is” is an illusion, but a very potent one. The reason why is that it tends to give metaphorical connections between things that would otherwise remain mere similes. And this has implications for integrating things in thought, which has implications for our creation of technologies. Ultimately we do not know why this unique grammatical change happened. There is no why, or if there was it is lost in the mists of time. We do not know that much about Proto-Indo-European, and we know hardly anything about how it differed from the languages that it split off from. It is always already lost as Heidegger likes to say about such things.
Why are we?
If you means humans, then that is an equally capricious quest for origins. Human origins just like animal and plant, i.e. life’s origins are also always already lost.
Where would we be if we were not?
Well one thing we could be is one of the other non-satiate humanoids, that mysterious disappeared while humans become dominant. The other even bleaker answer is non-existent completely if life never arose, or animals did not split from plants, or if mammals did not survive when dinosaurs all died off, etc.
And last of all, is there an answer?
Basically the answer is only proof by existence. We are here. Evolution with us as a final improbable outcome did happen. After the extinction of other humanoids Indo-Europeans did arise as a dominant culture, and they did have this grammatical abnormality, and they did take over everything in prehistory they could, and they continued to do it down though history every chance they got, and they were more successful at that than other humans down through history, just like humans were more successful than other humanoids, and mammals were more successful after a certain asteroid hit than any other species except insects. And life was more successful on earth than anyone might have imagined when it started out as just a few one cell organisms somewhere.

So there is an answer but you are probably not going to like it. The answer is no one knows Why. All we know is That this happened in the way it did to make globalization the next bit to take over everything on the planet, in the course of which we really do not seem to care if the whole planet dies or not. So if we are successful, no one will care in the future if Earth becomes like Venus though our exalted efforts of taking over everything redoing it in our own image, and destroying everything that stands in our way. You know all the stuff that Nietzsche identified with the Blond Beast, and which he identified with as part of himself.

Now that we know that all humans outside of Africa have Neanderthal genes from one of two species co-species, it is tempting to hypothesize that this difference came from that marriage of necessity somehow. I love the irony that it is only those from Africa that are real humans with no Neanderthal mixture. Indo-Europeans oldest language based on roots not grammar is probably the Hittites, and they were in the area of Turkey it seems originally. Two of the oldest civilizations existed right on that boundary where Neanderthals and Humans met. But we know that there was an older Nomadic civilization based in Turkey that was much older than these civilizations. It is still up in the air as to whether Neanderthals spoke language. Sumerian is a unique language unlike all others, and Indo-European has a unique feature, and we know these two languages interacted because they shared loan words with each other. Indo-Europeans were known to the Sumerians as the Ker, and they lived to the north, and they were conquered by the Sumerians, and perhaps driven out into the steppes. So back at the dawn of civilization these two uniquenesses were in contact an agglutinative language on the one hand that has not counterpart and proto-Indo-European that turned into Hittite on the other. This was of course long after the Neanderthals vanished. However, both of these mythologies have the idea that there were Titans which we see in the Vedas as the Asuras, and we see in Sumerian by a set of gods whose names with the prefix En, like Enki or Enlil etc. And we know that the idea  of the gods of the Greeks came from Sumeria via Mesopotamia in their long cuneiform tradition of learning. God of Egypt are quite different. When the Sahara dried up lots of Saharan extraction peoples (like Berbers) poured into Egypt. There are no gods like the titans among those peoples.

So let us jump to a wild conclusion, just for the heck of it, that Titans were the gods of the Neanderthals and that Sumera and Indo-Europeans were more heavily influenced by the Neanderthals than were the Egyptians who where not quite yet Out of Africa. This might explain how we can have two such different cultures right next to each other. The desert where the Semites lived might have been a gap between the Human and the Human plus Neanderthal civilizations. Now it is really strange that Western culture traces itself back to these four groups two old settled civilizations and two groups of Nomads one between the two settled civilizations and one further West in Turkey which is actually older, i.e. the Indo-Europeans. Sumerian language is built up by gluing bits together. The strange concept of Being in Indo-European languages is a way to connect otherwise disparate things. In effect one builds up complex word/sentence forms by gluing things together and the other does the same thing in meaning giving a semantic glue to connect disparate concepts via metaphors. What if these uniquenesses were somehow lefts over from the Neanderthal influence? On the other hand Egyptian and Semitic languages are very much alike. The difference is that you can have roots with one to five consonants in ancient Egyptian, while you can have only three consonants (or rarely four) in Arabic. So there is something that Semites and Egyptians have in common too. Let us hypothesize that humans when they encountered Neanderthals at the gates of Africa in Egypt, and different responses. Some stayed in Africa and continued to live along the Nile. Some ventured into the nomads land between Egypt and Sumeria who were the Hebrews and because it was mostly desert they remained mostly unaffected by Neanderthal culture. But those who ventured further were affected more. What do we know about Neanderthal culture? It was very static compared with human culture. Human culture started off at the Neanderthal baseline but then sometime later with Cro-Magnon took off to produce a variety of cultural items undreamt of by the Neanderthals. So what we can gather from the material culture of Neanderthals is that they liked continuity, and did not change their material culture readily. We note that languages have traces of the difference between Mass/Noncount concepts, and Set/Count concepts. Being is a Mass-like concept, Agglutinative Syntax also seems mass-like. On the other hand our culture has a marked preference for Set-like approaches to things that plays down mass-like approaches, yet each has their own logic. So lets really go out on a speculative limb here and say that the Mass-like aspects of language, such as you get in Chinese is an influence from the Neanderthals. Let us assume that Set like features have a human origin. This is supported by the precision and set like character of Egyptian and Semite languages and how words are produced in an almost mathematical way in the roots by the combination of consonants. So if we were to take this hint seriously then we would think that Proto-Indo-European and Sumerian language might be two human hybrid reactions to the Mass like character of Neanderthal languages. We are going to assume for the moment that material culture is a sign of the presence of language. And in those languages there is a difference between the Old and New Gods, Titans and Olympians. Titans were beaten and sent to Tartarus, somewhere even deeper than Hades. Olympians are very hybrid human like. Titans might be thought to be more like the Titans. Before that Heaven and Earth were split. Before that was the lost god Alalu who had no partner that only shows up in the Hittite version of the Genealogy of the generations of gods. Titans ruled a long time before Olympians overthrew them. Olympians were new comers, they were human all to human. Among them is one Indo-European god preserved from the Indo-European invasions, which was Poseidon. Notice that the agglutinative original language that gave rise to cuneiform writing was very long lasting. It was a very conservative cultural institution that other cultures took up and preserved. Indo-European culture on the other hand had something that it preserved for a long time which was the anomaly of Being. In fact it means what purdures, what lasts. It means what is unchanging. In Sumerian there is no Being, but only a copula, which is the simplest from of connector a language can have. On the Egyptian and Semitic side there are names for existence that are preserved in Arabic and Hebrew as Wajud and Hayy. In Egyptian there are two terms for existence that are different plus a term for existence creating itself out of nothing. So the Eastern side of the great divide were united in seeing existence clearly of in two forms. But on the Western side there was Being which was stratified like the Indo-European Caste structure and like the Gods of the Indo-Europeans as discovered by Dumazil. But the Sumerians had only copula in the word ME, but this also had another meaning as a noun which was a cultural mechanism like a Tattva. Innana stole the Me from Enki (or was it Enlil). Thus on the Eastern side there are nihilistic extremes inscribed in opposite cultures of copula that also means tattva of culture or all-encompassing Being that is stratified with in Caste, Gods and the Roots of Being. On the Sumerian side one word is both the copula and the variety of cultural fundamental forms. Each in its own very different way bring together unity and diversity. And now we can be pretty sure that the Indo-European nomadic way was the older one.

No matter how wildly we speculate all this is actually lost in the oblivion of origins that will never be known. But we can guess that the Indo-European way is a direct response to the mingling of Neanderthal and Human cultures. Perhaps they wanted to get to what purdures in Neanderthal material culture that never changes. So they displaced the permanence of Knowledge onto this anomalous concept of Being. Perhaps the Sumerian culture was a later reaction. But the fact that they both have Titan like gods means that there must have been some connection between these cultures beyond loan words and the fact that they fought each other at the dawn of civilization.

Plato talks about the war between ancient Athens and Ancient Atlantis. Atlantis was a civilization in the ocean ruled over by a group of kings sired by Poseidon. Ancient Athens had a social structure remarkably like that which shows up in most Indo-European cultures. These are nihilistic opposites and it is the city of the Laws that is the balance point between them which was away from the influence of the seas, which by the way are masses and are what bound Africa. The ancient Athenians are a lot like the Pandavas and the Atlantans are a lot like their nemesis who were brothers born from an iron stone. The Mahabharata is the closest thing we have to the TitoMachia. So let’s just speculate even further and say that the Ancient Athenians were the Indo-Europeans and the Atlantans were the rulers over the sea, i.e. standing in for the Neanderthals and their Gods. Poseidon is a Mass related God if there ever was one. But strikingly he rides a chariot pulled by horses in the waves, which is an Indo-European invention. So these are two nihilistic images of the same group yet one is ruler of masses and the other divides society into sets. Being is a mass substance but at the same time there are the meta-levels of Being that separates it out into set like strata. What I am saying is that perhaps the strife between Humans and Neanderthals as well as their coming together is a contradiction at the heart of Indo-European culture from which we never disentangled ourselves because They are now us. We are the Other. Yet we want to conquer the Other. We cannot escape who we ARE.

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Quora answer: Is Zizek’s interpretation of Lacan in keeping with Lacan’s own thought?

Jul 06 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

No one will ever know because Lacan without Zizek’s interpretation is impenetrable, opaque, obscure, arrogant in the extreme, incompressible except in small doses and with respect to a few overarching ideas like the registers: Imaginary, Symbolic, Real. Zizek actually makes sense, and I think that is because what we are actually hearing is the voice of Hegel, as if it were the voice of Zizek, interpreting Lacan. Zizek has taken on the task of being the Analyst of Lacan and what he has discovered repressed there is Hegel. Forget Structuralism or Semiotics, just read Hegel very closely and you will get the gist of what Lacan has to say, which is what Zizek wants to say, and occasionally it is also what Badiou says. Of course the wizard behind that curtain of Hegel is also Zizek. This is not Marx’s Hegel, or your philosophy teacher’s Hegel, or any Hegel than any other Continental Philosopher would recognize as Hegel. This is the Hegel for whom appearance is everything, and behind which there is no reality. This is the Hegel of the Phenomenology of Spirit on steroids. Lacan did not have thoughts. Lacan was the Delphic oracle who needs the Priest/Analyst to make sense of for the rest of us. His saving grace is that he says everything exactly the opposite of what Derrida said. And his other major philosophical interpreter, Deleuze cannot be trusted. The only one who can half way be trusted in Badiou, because Zizek is positive that Badiou is smarter than him, and more dedicated to the Maoist ideal than Zizek can muster himself. Zizek has doubts about communism and is not a true believer like Badiou. Maoists after the Cultural Revolution, after Pol Pot, are kind of sad. But Badou has Zizek terrified. Zizek does not claim to have mastered Set Theory or Logic as a source of the refined terror that he advocates. Rather he has mastered Film. And all Films especially Hitchcock are merely exemplifications of Lacanian doctrine.

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Quora answer: Apart from his readings of Hegel, Marx and Lacan, what original idea is Slavoj Žižek best known for?

Jul 06 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

This is a list of some ideas that are peculiar to Zizek.

Lacan is comprehensible and the source for understanding all social and cultural phenomena, and that his is the Anti-Derrida.

Lacan is really Hegel in disguise.

Lacan was not interested in Freud in the least and has nothing to do with Freudianism but was merely using that as a way to put across his Hegelian agenda.

The only philosopher worth really studying today is Hegel, why because Hegel has been Taboo. Marx got Hegel wrong and he was more radical than Marx.

The only thing worth keeping of communism is the idea of protecting the commons.

Appearances are literally everything. There is no reality underneath the appearances. There are only appearances.

Film is more real for us than daily life. We are the illusions and the characters on the silverscreen are the realities of our culture.

Film is the key art form of the twentieth century.

What ever they say, and what ever you think, the truth is the opposite. This was of course Nietzsche’s ruse.

Deleuze was an idiot. Reverse everything Deleuze said and you get closer to the truth for instance the organ without body is truer as an idea than the body without organs. Deleuze is to be reviled. This is because the interpretations of Lacan’s ideas by Deleuze are often deeper than those of Zizek.

Badou has interesting things to say, but unfortunately is a Maoist. Zizek is sure that Badiou is deeper and smarter than he is so he only finds small differences with the thoughts of Badiou so he does not draw fire from Badiou. But the truth is that Badiou is not that interesting except in as much as he exposes the falsehood of extreme positions by taking them. Furthermore, Zizek had big significant book envy of Badou until he wrote Parallax View. Being and Event though wrong is still interesting in as much as philosophers now need to master Set Theory. His second volume is wanting to do the same thing with Logic. So how ever ridiculous Badiou is he has allied himself with Logic and Math and made them more important for Continental Philosophy clearly in an attempt to beat the Analytic Philosophers at their own game.

Your subjectivity is not what you think it is. There is literally nothing to it.

The world is not what you think it is, it is even more dangerous than you imagined.

We are all basically completely messed up beyond all recovery and being ecologically, politically, racially and socially correct will not help.

Liberals need discipline, rigor, racism, and all the qualities of the right that they have abandoned.

Liberals need to embrace the necessity of a refined Terror at some level.

Extremes are to be avoided. They do not lead anywhere.

Things left of center are good, and communism even better (If at first you do not succeed, try, try again). Communism correctly understood is really at the center of the political spectrum where the greatest number of people who occupy things are at.

What is important is not occupying Wall Street but what you do when you go home. If it was just to claim you were there at Woodstock then there will be nothing to the occupy movement. Only an occupy movement that does not become popularism, does not fall into normal political categories will be successful.

When he takes over power he is going to send people to the Googlag, oops, Gulag.

His goal is not to be a philosopher King, or a genius, but just not a complete idiot, and that is the best we can strive for.

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Quora answer: What is the essential Slavoj Žižek reading list?

Jul 06 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

Theological works and Mysteries, Films, Novels, Architecture, Economics, Psychoanalysis, Continental Philosophy, History of Communism, History of Democracy, Globalization, Colonialization, Twentieth Century History, Cultural Phenomena, News Papers, Magazines, Websites and Blogs, essentially everything of significance in the Western Tradition and World cultural history and political history.

In other words Zizek has it seems read everything. And the more of everything you have read yourself the more you will get out of his commentary on everything.

Probably reading widely in disparate subjects is the key to understanding what Zizek is saying. He knows it, and he speaks from knowing it. And he expects you to know it. In other words he sets the bar high for his audience. He expects them to know basically what he knows in order to be in dialogue with him. If you don’t know the material you might think he is winging it. He is not winging it. He knows it and he is telling you that you need a really long reading list if you are going to understand much of what is happening in our age. But having just read it is not enough. You need to also have read in order of precedence Hegel, Lacan, Badiou, Derrida, Deleuze, Foucault as well as Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, etc. Economists, Political Thinkers, Sociologists and other commentators on Political, Social, Economic, and Historical Phenomena.

In other words Zizek is an educated European with wild ideas, a love of shocking people and a gift for gab who always makes salient theoretical points, even when asked for sound bites. To keep up you are going to have to read more than Zizek.

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Quora Answer: What’s a good way for a beginner to approach philosophy?

Jul 06 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

Best way is to start thinking about ultimate questions like What is the Meaning of Life? Why do I exist? What is the Right way to live one’s life? What is significant to me? What do I believe in what has implications for my behavior? Who should rule? There are myriad questions of this sort that are pertinent to one’s life. Pick one and dive in. Then when you get stumped read a book about that question by anyone, not just philosophers, but any book you find of interest on a subject that fascinates you. Then when you finish that book, pick any book referenced that seemed really fascinating, and read that, and just keep doing that until you exhaust your fascination or all good books worth reading. Turns out that there just are not that many really good books and they can be hard to find, but the way to find them is to read other books and see who those authors are reading. All the time while you are reading whatever fascinates you, keep thinking only combine that with thinking about the things the authors you are reading have to say. And when you run into an author you really like read everything of theirs you can get your hands on. Find out who he read, and then the most interesting of those authors pick one that is fascinating, and read everything he has written. In the meantime while you are reading, and thinking, start writing working papers where you write down your own thoughts, and notice that when you do that you will discover things that you can think that you did not even know were possible, so start writing early and often, working papers and make sure that if you have a significant thought to write it down in a journal Then as you are thinking and reading, and writing, start creating syntheses of ideas by drawing diagrams of the relations between your various ideas so you can think about how the concepts related to each other and so you can organize your thoughts before you write even more working papers, and when you get a series of ideas and you think you know how they related to each other, start reading everything you can about those ideas and their relations to each other. Then just for grins go to the library and start reading all the titles sitting on the shelves to see if there is anything you have missed that is out there but is important. When you read a thinker read the original first and then the commentaries. Read lots of commentaries on those thinkers that are important to you. Draw maps of all possible interpretations, including all those that people have actually given to a thinker, and then try to figure out what they have missed. Eventually you will see that although there is a lot written little of it is relevant to anything of interest. And also you will see despite myriad scholars there is a lot that has not been even discussed except by a few that is still interesting and is the frontier of research in whatever discipline you have suggested. Eventually you will find something that everyone missed, and then write a book on it yourself. When you first write that book, you are really just asking the question as to what is happening in your area of research, and what you come up with will raise all sorts of other questions, and so redouble your research until you understand it better, the write another book on it. One of these books could be your Master’s Thesis, another could be your first Ph.D. another could be your second Ph.D.  Basically there is no end to knowledge and the search for it, and fundamentally we are all beginners. Those how think they know are often the most ignorant as Socrates suggests. So never leave off beginning, and you will never go wrong in your intellectual adventure.

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